Martin Hentschel

State on Wave by Elmar Hess describes the fictive bio-graphy of the son of a diplomat, Nicolaus Maron. Maron, who in a key dream discovered the depths of a hypno­tised mass society as its spiritual leadership , was trauma­tised even as a child and became increas­ingly involved in the phantasms of a radical social model dominated exclu­sively by individual forms of perception, speech and expression. The utopia, actually born from criticism of bureau­cratic political and cultural management, in its finals version increas­ingly tips over into dicta­torship that immedi­ately destroys the desired emanci­pation of personal perception.

Hess’s absurd humour precip­i­tates a multi-faced scenario of social criticism and absurdity of higher order. (…)

Nikolaus v. Wolff

In State on Wave, the individual changes from unsuc­cess­fully defending his individual sphere to success­fully attacking prevailing reality. Thrown back on himself, between a fascist class society in heaven (during a dream sequence) an ignorant, stupid culture on earth, Maron takes up the fight against the prevailing social order after his return from heaven. Abstrusely identi­fying himself as a ship, Maron mows down all resis­tance as he passes through the insti­tu­tions, until he finally arrives at the empty space where his own paradox power is based. Only the pop singer Lesha offers Maron a way out of his closed world, which, precisely because it is so closed, is no eager to expand. In the course of the story, however, her success becomes a threat to his ideology: after her last triumphant concert, at which she arrives in a helicopter, Maron has her arrested. Idols are damaging to the devel­opment of the ego. The protag­onist thus finally closes himself off from the world. The dilemma between imple­menting political ideals and personal objec­tives which tend to be taken ad absurdum when they are realised, as they become repressive, is a way for the individual to get his own back on a constructive system. obsession taken to extremes becomes repression. (…)

Elmar Hess reflects the inter­action between the world of the individual and collective demands, without being ideological. In his work, opposition to the principle of reality is always playful, and unmasks extremist ideologies as totalitarian.

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